Among the more important findings from this year’s Monitoring the Future survey of U.S. secondary school students are the following:
- Marijuana use among teens rose in 2011 for the fourth straight year—a sharp contrast to the considerable decline that had occurred in the preceding decade.
- Daily marijuana use is now at a 30-year peak level among high school seniors.
- Synthetic marijuana,” which until earlier this year was legally sold and goes by such names as “K2” and “spice,” was added to the study’s coverage in 2011; one in every nine high school seniors (11.4%) reported using that drug in the prior 12 months
- Alcohol use—and, importantly, occasions of heavy drinking—continued a long-term gradual decline among teens, reaching historically low levels in 2011.
- Energy drinks are being consumed by about one third of teens, with use highest among younger teens.